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Archive for the ‘Diet & Health’ Category

Cosmos

In the course of our lives we will inevitably run into a circumstance in which we desperately need quiet but don’t have it. One way of creating a more controlled environment in which we can study, sleep, work, build tall towers out of overcooked breakfast sausages, or otherwise function is to utilize white noise.

This week I had a chance to share some of my favorite white noise websites and figured I’d post them online too. After all, most American adults don’t get nearly enough sleep, and sometimes we need a little buffer between us and the rest of the world to focus on the tasks at hand.

First, check out the Relaxing White Noise channel on YouTube. Aaaah… Skyscraper, Gentle Creek, Space Odyssey, and Interstellar Voyage are just some of the options, along with one of the most effective white noise sources known to man, the box fan. Previously box fans were only practical during sweltering summer months. Now you can enjoy the ambiance year round.

Next, drift on over to Yogaduke’s channel. While I personally don’t practice elements of eastern religions, there is still a wealth of useful audio pleasures on here. Think Rain on a Tent, Rain in the City, Driving in a Thunderstorm, Waterfalls, Fans, and Hotel AC. Yogaduke also has a video for cats that is on the Top Ten list of feline-approved videos in my household, Feeding the Birds. (Disclaimer: If you’re playing the relaxing sound videos and this one happens to come on, you could very well be awakened by a cat pounce to the chest and excited nananana chattering as your cat zeros in on its virtual prey.)

Saunter along over to Randall’s Rest and Relaxation station. Randall has some of the most innovative and effective white noise combinations this side of the Mississippi (although in truth, I don’t know where Randall is). Rain + Fan + Cat + Heart is amazingly soothing. Fireplace Sounds… Night Forest Ambiance… River Sleep… and LOUD fans in all shapes and sizes. Diesel Vibrations… Midnight Train… I thought he’d hit his peak with 12 Fans for 12 Hours, but then he went and recorded 31 FANS!! Oh wait, he now has an epic 64 FAN MEGA VIDEO!

While you might be asking yourself how some of these sounds are relaxing, different sounds work for different people. Sounds can link us to pleasant childhood memories, conjure up happy thoughts, or provide an escape from the cares of life and those three doctor bills still sitting on the dining room table. Play around, experiment– some of these even help babies sleep. But do be cognizant that right when your 6 month-old has dropped off into La La Land, that Final Countdown YouTube ad featuring Europe and a microwaved burrito might well blast them into a perpetual state of screaming. Beware the YouTube ads.

Calmsound.com offers some common nature sounds like rain, thunder, and the ocean, similar to what you’d get from a store-brought noise machine. They also offer Fairy Glen and Country Garden. You can spend a pretty penny on noise machines that don’t offer nearly what the Internet does, but Bed Bath & Beyond has a basic $19.99 model, the HoMedica SoundSpa Sound Machine, that works quite nicely in non-Internet or non-speaker accessible rooms. It does not involve seagulls. And save the 20 percent off coupon in the junk mail flyers for additional savings (you know you usually recycle that).

MyNoise.net, hands down, has the coolest feature of any white noise generator online or otherwise– an equalizer. You can adjust the frequencies of the noises making up each theme, which is hugely helpful to those with hearing loss. This is also useful if you find a calming sound that is suddenly interrupted by a jarring bird call or primate yell. Just turn down the bird. This site allows you to customize a number of background symphonies. It has presets, a mute function, and you can adjust to brown, pink, white, or grey settings. I often find brown or pink noise to be more effective than white.

MyNoise.net has a free app as some sites do and certain noises can be downloaded as albums. Not all are free. Categories include Synthetic Noises, Natural Noises, Tonal Drones, Brainwaves, Industrial Noises, Voices, Atmospheres, Soundscapes, Magic Generators, and Pattern Scapes. The tonal drones are particularly intriguing. Try out Bagpipes, Canyon, Didgeridrone, Ethereal Choir, Ice World, and Stardust. Ice World can help you create your own personal Fortress of Solitude. Didgeridrone isn’t as hip as the famed Adèle & Zalem Didgeridoo Duet, but still has the power of slumber from Down Under. 

SimplyNoise.com has brown, pink, and white noise. It has a timer and an oscillation feature. This can sound like annoying TV static on its own, but when used to mask more grating sounds, it can blend into the background. Similarly, SimplyRain.com has the same features but showcases a rain sound with the option to omit thunder, have a little thunder, or a lot of thunder. Here in the Northwest many of us find the sound of rain relaxing as it’s our natural white noise. Thunder rattles some but others of us go racing outside to witness the fireworks of a good storm or at least secure a window seat.

There is no substitute for the background sounds of nature. But as we build ourselves these increasingly artificial, human noise-saturated environments and continue to cut ourselves off from the wonders of creation, it is necessary to rediscover the original recipe for beneficial sleep and calm. Those watery, windy, wave-lashed, warbling and wavering wild sounds that soothed our ancestors for so many generations still have a purpose and might be needed now more than ever.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to conclude before I head butt the monitor in a state of bliss from listening to all these demos. Midnight Diesel Engine with Cat Accordion Liver Idling Jungle Centrifuge, take me away…

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Now I know the secret of making the best persons; it is to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth. –Walt Whitman

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©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Check out this fantastic idea from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) blog. Kids with celiac disease and food allergies often have to forego Halloween treats– here’s a way to spread cheer and get kids away from candy overload in general.

FARE Teal Pumpkin

This Halloween, FARE is encouraging food allergy families to start a new tradition: painting a pumpkin teal and placing it on your porch as a sign to other families managing food allergies that you have non-food treats available at your home. Your teal pumpkin is also a way to raise awareness in your neighborhood about food allergies!

Purchasing inexpensive non-food treats to hand out is a great way to include all children in trick-or-treating, and we hope that the Teal Pumpkin Project will be a tradition for years to come.

Examples of non-food items include: glow bracelets or necklaces, pencils, markers, boxes of crayons, erasers, bubbles, stamps, mini Slinkies, whistles or noisemakers, bouncy balls, coins, spider rings, vampire teeth, mini notepads, playing cards, bookmarks, stickers, and stencils. Oriental Trading or Amazon are websites used by many parents to order these items (visit smile.amazon.com to shop on Amazon and donate a portion…

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Adult CPR AED

June 1st through 7th is National CPR and AED Awareness Week. You can visit the Red Cross website to find out how to become CPR certified.

Having just renewed my certification, I was reminded of this classic scene from Dumb and Dumber when Harry and Lloyd attempt CPR on the hitman who’s been tracking them. (more…)

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Here’s a great infographic from FARE. Food allergies are very serious and becoming more common. The American diet is overloaded with gluten, sugar, soy, and dairy products– is it any wonder that our bodies are starting to fight back?

May is Food Allergy Action Month. Pass it on!

Food-Allergies-in-US-Infographic

 

Food Allergy Research & Education.

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Allergic Living

Allergic Living just featured an eye-opening piece by Lisa Fitterman that discusses the very real impact of gluten on brain function.

This article confirms what people who’ve suffered for years before being diagnosed with celiac disease already know: gluten affects your neurological processes. (more…)

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Perfume 1

As a woman I believe that cosmetics and accessories are meant to enhance our feminine assets, not distort them. Lately I’ve been pondering many of the fads and innovations in “beauty” that can unfortunately make women resemble desperate drag queens rather than touched-up versions of their own selves. I saw a news anchor the other day who is naturally attractive, but the alterations she’d made to her appearance in order to be more… trendy (?) were so unnatural I found her difficult to watch.I felt that her electrified eyelashes might start a second and third conversation. (more…)

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Office Space Cake

FARE’s latest newsletter highlighted a great resource they have for those with food allergies, a page called Managing Food Allergies at Work

This is a topic I’ve dealt with for years. I have celiac disease and multiple food allergies and the workplace can be like a minefield for the food allergic. Not only do you have to deal with others’ ignorance of your condition and even their hostility towards it, but you have to be cognizant of minute details to avoid getting sick. (more…)

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